BUNNELL, Fla. (WESH/WFLA) – A man and woman in Flagler County are facing child neglect charges after officials say their young children were found in deplorable conditions.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office was called to a home on County Road 75 in Bunnell after receiving reports from neighbors that a child was heard screaming.
When deputies arrived, they said they heard a child yelling for their mother and banging a cup against a wall asking for something to drink.
Officials say there were large piles of trash near the front door and a foul smell coming from inside the home.
Deputies were able to speak with the parents of the three children who lived in the home, Christina Coe and Gilbert Bridewell.
Authorities said inside the home, all rooms were in total disarray with trash on bedroom floors.
A release from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office says cockroaches were seen walking along the floor, walls, inside a refrigerator, crawling in beds and near a pacifier. There was also feces on walls and in children’s beds, deputies say.
Coe allegedly told deputies that she was trying her best and stated she had bathed the children at a neighbor’s home earlier. Deputies say the children were wearing dirty clothes and their diapers had not been changed.
Coe did say she had a plastic bathtub in the home for the children, but deputies said when they found it the tub was still in its packaging and covered in dust.
The children, a 2-year-old, 1-year-old, and a 7-day-old, were taken from the home and placed in custody with a family member.
“I am so glad that we were able to get these kids out of this house before someone was injured or became seriously ill as a result of the conditions inside the home,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Between the trash, bugs, and the human excrement found inside the home, this situation could have had a tragic ending. Hopefully, DCF and other agencies will help these parents and children get the help they need. It is unfortunate these conditions and the parent’s lack of actions deteriorated to a criminal case.”